Savvy Tips Guru

Flipping Furniture 101: Easy Tips for Beginners Getting Started

flipping furniture

Woodworking and making furniture are hobbies that many people enjoy because they allow for a great mix of creativity and practical skills. Interestingly, there are almost 690,000 carpenters in the United States, according to the 2022 survey by Statista. This number shows how popular woodworking is, not just as a job but also as a hobby. 

People like these activities for several reasons. They’re a way to be creative, feel the satisfaction of creating something useful, and find some relaxation in physical work. Additionally, for some, these hobbies can turn into a way to make extra money. Usually, learning how to do woodworking or furniture making well requires some guidance from experts. However, there’s another related activity that doesn’t necessarily require you to start with a lot of knowledge: furniture flipping. 

What is Furniture Flipping?

Furniture flipping is when you take old or unwanted furniture, fix it up to look better or more modern, and then sell it to make money. It’s about seeing the value in items that others might not notice and turning them into something attractive. You don’t need to be a professional in woodworking to start; just having a knack for seeing potential, some basic skills in fixing and painting furniture, and creativity can set you on the right path.

Finding Furniture to Flip

Looking for furniture to flip can be easy and doesn’t have to cost much. Here are some places to start:

  • Thrift Stores and Garage Sales: Great spots for finding unique pieces without spending much.
  • Curbside: Sometimes people throw out furniture that’s still usable. Look around your neighborhood, especially on big trash pick-up days.
  • Online Marketplaces: Check out Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay for free or inexpensive furniture listings.
  • Estate Sales: These sales can be excellent for scoring quality furniture at lower prices.

Why Furniture Flipping is a Good Idea

Furniture flipping has several benefits that go beyond making extra cash. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth considering:

  • It’s Eco-friendly: Flipping furniture means you’re recycling and keeping those items out of the landfill.
  • You Can Be Creative: It allows you to use your imagination and creativity to transform pieces in unique ways.
  • It Offers Flexibility: Whether you’re looking for a part-time sideline or a full-time job, furniture flipping can fit your schedule. You decide how much time and money you invest in each project.
  • Potential for Profit: If done wisely, flipping furniture can be quite profitable. The cost of refurbishing a piece is often much less than what you can sell it for.
  • Skill-Building: You’ll learn and hone various skills, from simple repair work and painting techniques to how to market and sell your finished pieces.

The Basics of Furniture Flipping

Furniture flipping is often easier to get into than making furniture from the beginning. When you flip furniture, you’re working with pieces that already exist. This means you don’t need to know how to do everything from scratch, like cutting wood to size or joining pieces together, which can save a lot of time and effort.

Another big plus of furniture flipping is that it can be more affordable. You can find furniture that people are giving away or selling very cheaply because they want it gone quickly or because it needs a bit of work. These situations are perfect for anyone wanting to flip furniture because you can pick up these pieces at a low cost, fix them up, and then sell them for a higher price.

Steps to Flip Furniture

Here’s a simple guide on how to start flipping furniture, especially if you’re a beginner:

  • Finding Furniture: Start by looking for furniture with potential. Check out online listings, garage sales, thrift stores, or even items left out on the curb.
  • Checking and Planning: Once you’ve found a piece you like, take a good look at what needs fixing or changing. Decide what work it needs to make it sellable.
  • Getting it Ready: Get your piece ready for its makeover. This usually involves cleaning it well, fixing any broken parts, and sanding any rough surfaces to make them smooth.
  • The Makeover: Now’s the time to get creative. Paint or refinish your piece in a style that’s popular or that you think people will like. Sometimes adding new knobs or handles can make a big difference too.
  • Selling Your Piece: Once your furniture looks new, it’s time to sell it. Take nice photos and list them online or try selling them at local markets.

Key Basics for Starting Furniture Flipping

When you decide to flip furniture, knowing your tools and the materials you’re working with is super important. Here’s a simple guide to what you need and what you should know:

Essential Tools

  • Basic Hand Tools: Screwdrivers and hammers for repairs or taking pieces apart.
  • Sanding Supplies: Sandpaper or electric sanders to make surfaces smooth.
  • Painting Tools: Brushes and rollers for putting on paint.
  • Paint Remover: For getting rid of old paint layers.
  • Wood Finishes: Like stain and sealer for making wood look good again.
  • Safety Gear: Always wear gloves, masks, and eye protection.

Types of Wood

Different woods need different approaches:

  • Hardwoods (like Oak and Walnut): They’re strong but can be tough to work on.
  • Softwoods (like Pine): Easier for sanding and painting.
  • Veneers and Laminates: These are thin layers over cheaper wood or particle board, so be gentle with them.

Skills to Pick Up

  • Sanding: Knowing how to sand well is key for a nice finish.
  • Painting: Learn both brush and spray techniques for a neat look.
  • Staining: Get the hang of choosing and applying wood stain.
  • Fixing Things: Basic fixes can make a piece usable again.
  • Simple Upholstery: Changing fabric on chairs can make a big difference.

Finishing Touches

The right finish can protect your piece and make it look great:

  • Polyurethane: It’s tough and keeps your furniture safe.
  • Wax: Offers a natural look and feels nice.
  • Oil: Good for soaking into the wood and protecting it.

Key Takeaways for Successful Furniture Flipping

To wrap up, staying in tune with the latest furniture trends can really help your flipped pieces sell quickly. When you’re just starting out, it’s best to tackle simple projects, like those needing a new coat of paint, to gradually build your confidence and skills. Each project teaches you something new, making you more adept over time. With a wealth of online resources available, from how-to videos to forums, there’s plenty of support to help you progress. 

By focusing on these basics and slowly expanding your capabilities, you’ll find yourself becoming more proficient and creative in the art of furniture flipping, turning old pieces into sought-after treasures.


  • Diane Silva

    Diane is a travel enthusiast, content creator, and master storyteller, capturing her adventures through captivating blogs and engaging vlogs. With a passion for the great outdoors and a love for literature, she brings a unique perspective to the travel world. Whether she's exploring hidden gems or discussing the latest trends, Diane is your go-to source for all things travel and beyond.